South Africa ‘choke’ against England

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England could have beaten India and Ireland, but beat neither. They’ve a far better claim to being chokers than South Africa at present.

In the last 12 months, Australia have lost a Twenty20 international off the last ball to England; lost a one-dayer by one wicket to Sri Lanka; lost a Test by one wicket to India; and lost a one-dayer by one wicket to England. Chokers.

Pakistan have lost matches to all sorts of people down the years, but their ‘mercurial’ reputation takes precedence, otherwise they’d be chokers.

Generally, one of the two teams playing a given match will lose. Quite often the match will have been close. Yet it seems that only if a group of people wearing the same colour clothes lost a close World Cup semi final in 1999 will the losing team be accused of being chokers.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Thank you. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to say.

    South Africa, in a remarkable display of discrimination, aren’t allowed to lose close matches any more. They aren’t even allowed to win close matches, because then they nearly choked.

    They aren’t even allowed to lose close World Cup semi finals in which they’re taken apart by one of the best legspinners the world has ever seen bowling one of the best one-day spells he’s ever bowled.

    That’s choking, don’t cha know.

  2. You could have included links that worked, but I am afraid you choked. But lets not dwell on the negatives. We aren’t journalists after all.

    Even though the pitch was Lindsay Lohan’s acting skills, there was a spell of Brutal deluxe bowling that might even have been good enough to choke a Gandalf team like Ireland.

  3. Current World Cup standings:

    South Africa

    Some people think that there are ways of running a league other than just How They Perform Against Your Team, but these people are wrong.

  4. But how many teams have actually lost as many winnable matches while chasing ?

    We like South Africans choking, except when they play Australia. There is something natalie portman about the Aussies during the period they realize that they are the ones choking.

    1. As Ireland demonstrated very well the other day, all matches are ‘winnable’ when chasing.

  5. My definition of a close game is linked to Daisy’s behaviour.

    If she leaves the room because she cannot bear to watch the TV and becomes convinced that she’ll bring her favoured team bad luck if she stays, the game is close.

    The England v South Africa game today was close.

  6. Which one of you is Andy Bull from the Guardian?

    It was a nice try, but I feel that you may be over-intellectualizing the South-Africa-are-chokers gag:

    “For a brief while it looked as though Dale Steyn was going to pull off the Heimlich manouevre on his team.”

  7. It is a cruel but fair point though, that South African cricketers with a close match on their hands are much like the late Queen Mother with a fish bone in her mouth…

    ..or Dubya with a pretzel. ..

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